Old-school football fans will love this week's Globe Gazette Game of the week. In battle of the No. 1 and No. 1 rushing attacks in the state, St. Ansgar vs. Earlham will be a contest to watch.
This season, Earlham has rushed for 4,175 yards as a team, the most in the state. St. Ansgar is close behind with 4,055 yards, the third-highest total. The Saints also have a state-leading 71 rushing touchdowns on the season, while Earlham has 55.
St. Ansgar will yet again lean on senior Jack Sievert, the school record holder in career touchdowns. Sievert has rushed for over 100 yards in nine of the Saints' 10 games, and scored at least three touchdowns in eight separate contest this year. He has 1,736 rushing yards on the season, while second-string running back Ryan Cole has 1033.
A few weeks ago against Newman Catholic, Sievert set a program record with his 52nd career touchdown. With every game now do-or-die, Sievert has gone on a tear. Last week, he rushed for 246 yards and three scores against Edgewood-Colesburg.
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"“Jack would be the first to tell you that there have been a lot of great players before him, and he has been fortunate to play with some great players over the past four years,” head coach Drew Clevenger said.
On defense, the Saints will go up against Earlham running back Caleb Swalla, who leads the state with 2262 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns.
Last week, both teams attempted only two passes, so this game will be extremely run heavy.With temperatures expected to be in the twenties around game time, it is just as well that these teams won't be passing the ball much. With plenty of rushing talent to go around, whichever defense can the opposing back in check will win this game.